SEEMINGLY, Mt Clear controlled play effortlessly.
But rain interruptions on day one forced the Mounties to quickly and repeatedly refigure their plans to win what was reduced to a 70-over-a-side semi-final.
They did so by 165 runs to book a spot in the Ballarat Cricket Association club firsts final.
Undefeated all season, the Mounties were determined to not let a little rain slip them up when it counted most.
Mounties captain Nathan Yates said it felt good to leave the Eastern Oval field as semi-final victors.
“The rain was frustrating. We set our plans for the innings over 80 overs and felt under pressure a little bit to score quickly before the rain would come in again,” Yates said.
The Mounties chalked up 7-257 by stumps on Saturday and had Napoleons-Sebastopol all out for just 92 by 3.51pm yesterday.
Yates had Naps-Sebas reeling early, knocking out Luke Corden and Adrian Irvin to be on a hat trick in a double-wicket maiden for the eighth over.
Naps-Sebas, on the other hand, struggled to find footing.
Proven performer Carman Mapatuna fell cheap – Yates’ third victim – as the wickets were crumbling.
Mounties’ spinner Steve Nicholson cleaned up the lower bats in his 4-16 haul off eight overs.
Ben Trew, batting number six, shouldered the scoring load in 35 runs, carrying Naps-Sebas to the final wicket when he was dismissed lbw.
Mountie Matt Goonan’s century anchored his team amid showers on day one.
The Mounties made a steady start but it was Goonan and captain Yates that started to fire up the batting.
Goonan brought up his half-century amid a 65-run third-wicket partnership with Yates.
Jarrod Burns (20 runs) then a 61-run stand with Dan Hopkinson (38 runs) picked up where Yates left off.
Goonan reached 104 runs before he was caught out by Naps-Sebas’ Luke Corden with a catch near the boundary with two balls to play.
“Goonan batted fantastic and it was helped that all the boys around him batted well,” Yates said.
“He was the standout but everyone did their bit for the team, helping each other.”
Brendan Thomson was the top wicket-taker for Naps-Sebas, claiming 4-85.